Prehistoric Planet
Prehistoric Planet 2022 cover.jpg
GenreNature documentary
Narrated byDavid Attenborough
Theme music composerHans Zimmer
Andrew James Christie
ComposersHans Zimmer
Anže Rozman
Kara Talve
Country of originUnited States
United Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes5
Executive producersJon Favreau
Mike Gunton
Running time39–42 minutes
Production companiesBBC Studios Natural History Unit
Golem Creations
Moving Picture Company (visual effects, CGI)
DistributorApple Inc.
Original networkApple TV+
Picture format2160p (4K UHD)
Original releaseMay 23, 2022 (2022-05-23) –

Prehistoric Planet is a British-American nature documentary streaming television series about dinosaurs that premiered on Apple TV+ beginning May 23, 2022. It is produced by the BBC Studios Natural History Unit with Jon Favreau as showrunner, visual effects by MPC, and narration by natural historian David Attenborough.[1] The documentary follows dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals recreated with computer-generated imagery living around the globe in the Late Cretaceous period, 66 million years ago (Maastrichtian), just before the dinosaurs’ extinction. It set out to depict prehistoric life using current palaeontological research by including accurately feathered dinosaurs, and probable speculative animal behaviour.[2]

Hans Zimmer, Kara Talve and Anže Rozman composed the soundtrack. It is the first major dinosaur-focused documentary series produced by the BBC since Planet Dinosaur in 2011, and the third overall (the first was Walking with Dinosaurs in 1999).[3][4] Prehistoric Planet received critical acclaim for its visual effects, depiction of dinosaurs, and Attenborough's narration.


A documentary that follows dinosaurs recreated with computer-generated imagery living around the globe in the Late Cretaceous period, 66 million years ago. It set out to depict dinosaurs using current paleontological research such as feathered dinosaurs.


According to palaeontologist and consultant Steve Brusatte, the series had been in development "a decade" prior to its trailer release.[5] On May 8, 2019, it was first reported by Deadline that Apple had ordered a new documentary series by BBC Studios titled Prehistoric Planet, to be executively produced by Jon Favreau.[6] An original score was composed by Kara Talve, Anže Rozman and Hans Zimmer.[7]

The series uses up-to-date palaeontological research to depict its animals of the Cretaceous with scientific rigour; for example, feathered dinosaurs are featured in the series, such as juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex.[7] Palaeozoologist Darren Naish was the lead consultant for the depictions of prehistoric life in the series.[8] The concept art and creature design was created by Jellyfish Pictures,[9] while computer-generated imagery was developed by MPC and intended to be photorealistic, as with their previous productions The Jungle Book (2016) and The Lion King (2019).[2]

A first sneak peek was posted to the official Apple TV+ YouTube channel on April 2, 2022, along with a trailer, with a May 23 airdate set for the first episode.[10] A ten-second teaser was released on April 19, 2022, followed by an official trailer the following day.[11] A second trailer was released on May 19, 2022, in the lead up to the show's premiere.[12]

After its release, the series consultants other than Darren Naish were revealed to be Steve Brusatte, Alexander Farnsworth, Kiersten Formoso, Michael Habib, Scott Hartman, John R. Hutchinson, Luke Muscutt, Peter Skelton, Robert Spicer, Paul Valdes and Mark Witton.[13] David Krentz, the director of Dinosaur Revolution and character designer on Disney's Dinosaur, was also revealed to have been involved in the creature development and design.[14] In March 2023, Apple renewed the series for a second season, which is scheduled to premiere on May 22, 2023.[15]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Coasts"Adam ValdezPaul D. StewartMay 23, 2022 (2022-05-23)
A father Tyrannosaurus and his offspring swim across a perilous seaway to feed on a dead giant turtle. Alcione hatchlings take their first flight through a gauntlet of predatory pterosaurs, Barbaridactylus and Phosphatodraco, while Tethydraco nestle their brood on the shores below. Tuarangisaurus travel to a bay in search of gastroliths. A male Mosasaurus is cleaned by reef denizens and defends his territory from a younger rival. Scaphitid ammonites perform an elaborate mating display. A pregnant Tuarangisaurus is targeted by Kaikaifilu and protected by her pod, after which she gives birth to a healthy baby.
2"Deserts"Andrew R. Jones, Adam ValdezDom WalterMay 24, 2022 (2022-05-24)
Several male Dreadnoughtus clash for the right to mate. A group of Velociraptors hunts for lizards among a group of sleeping Tarbosaurus. A Mononykus forages for termites and investigates new food options after a brief rainstorm. Several types of dinosaurs congregate around a watering hole in Mongolia. Barbaridactylus males compete for females atop a remote plateau. A herd of Secernosaurus brave the harsh gypsum dunes in search of nourishment.
3"Freshwater"Andrew R. JonesPaul ThompsonMay 25, 2022 (2022-05-25)
A trio of Velociraptor hunt juvenile pterosaurs on a cliffside by a waterfall. An old, battle-scarred male Tyrannosaurus nurses his wounds and encounters a younger female. A Deinocheirus seeks relief from biting flies. A female Quetzalcoatlus builds and guards her nest but most of her eggs are eaten by another female. A mother Masiakasaurus and her chicks hunt crabs and one of the juveniles is ambushed by a Beelzebufo. Some elasmosaurs enter an estuary in search of fish.
4"Ice Worlds"Adam ValdezSimon BellMay 26, 2022 (2022-05-26)
Dromaeosaurs stalk a herd of hadrosaurs as they cross a freezing river. Male Ornithomimus raid rivals' nests to bolster their own. A herd of Olorotitan raise their offspring on fertile volcanic fields but contend with biting mosquitoes. A troodontid flushes out mammals by spreading a forest fire. A juvenile Antarctopelta scours the forest for a new winter den. A Pachyrhinosaurus herd stands off against a pack of Nanuqsaurus.
5"Forests"Andrew R. Jones, Adam ValdezMatthew WrightMay 27, 2022 (2022-05-27)
Austroposeidons level trees in search of fresh foliage. A herd of Triceratops journey through a cave to find an underground clay lick. A male Carnotaurus displays to a female, but is rejected. A female Qianzhousaurus hunts Corythoraptor in an autumn storm. A family of Edmontosaurus evade a forest fire, while an Atrociraptor and an ankylosaur reap its rewards. Juvenile Therizinosaurus attempt to climb up to a beehive. A Hatzegopteryx patrols the dense undergrowth and seaspray-battered coastline for prey.


The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% approval rating with an average rating of 8.4/10, based on 30 reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "Marrying state of the art visual effects with equally immersive narration by David Attenborough, Prehistoric Planet wondrously brings viewers back to the age of dinosaurs."[16] On Metacritic, the series has a weighted average score of 85 out of 100, based on 8 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[17]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards Best Streaming Docuseries or Non-Fiction Series Prehistoric Planet Nominated [18]
Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in News and Information Nominated [19][20]
Cinema Eye Honours Outstanding Anthology Series Nominated [21]
Hollywood Music in Media Awards Original Song/Score — Documentary Series - TV/Digital Anze Rozman, Kara Talve, Hans Zimmer Won [22][23]
Televisual Bulldog Awards Best VFX Prehistoric Planet Won [24]
Broadcast Tech Innovation Awards Best VFX Project MPC Won [25]
Annie Awards Best Animated Special Production Prehistoric Planet Nominated [26]
Outstanding Achievement for Animated Effects in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production "Coasts" Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode "Ice Worlds" – Lindsay McFarlane, Fay Hancocks, Elliot Newman, Kirstin Hall Nominated [27][28]
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project Daniel Fotheringham, Krzysztof Szczepanski, Wei-Chuan Hsu, Claire Hill Nominated


  1. ^ "Prehistoric Planet: When is David Attenborough documentary released on Apple TV Plus?". Radio Times. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Apple TV+ reveals first look at epic natural history event series "Prehistoric Planet"". Apple. April 2, 2022. Retrieved April 4, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Scott, K.D.; White, A.M. (2003). "Unnatural History? Deconstructing the Walking with Dinosaurs Phenomenon". Media, Culture & Society. 25 (3): 315–332. doi:10.1177/0163443703025003002. S2CID 143566889.
  4. ^ "Prehistoric Planet Review: A Breathtaking Nature Documentary with Realistic-Looking Dinosaurs". MovieWeb. 25 May 2022. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  5. ^ Brusatte, Steve [@stevebrusatte] (April 20, 2022). "This is going to be epic. Honoured to play a role consulting with @MikeGunton & team from the development phase a decade ago until now. Huge work by @TetZoo & many talented people to make this happen" (Tweet). Retrieved April 26, 2022 – via Twitter.
  6. ^ "'The Jungle Book' Director Jon Favreau Teams With BBC Studios' NHU To Produce Doc Series 'Prehistoric Planet' For Apple". Deadline. May 8, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  7. ^ a b "David Attenborough explores habits and habitats of dinosaurs in new series Prehistoric Planet". April 2, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  8. ^ "Palaeontologists Rejoice As 'Prehistoric Planet' Presents A Realistic View Of The Cretaceous". IFLScience. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  9. ^ "Prehistoric Planet". Apple TV+ Press. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  10. ^ "WATCH: Apple TV+ Reveals First Look At Epic Natural History Event Series 'Prehistoric Planet'". Deadline. April 2, 2022. Retrieved April 4, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ "'Prehistoric Planet' Trailer Reveals Countless Species of Dinosaurs Like You've Never Seen Before". Collider. April 20, 2022. Retrieved April 20, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Prehistoric Planet — Official Trailer 2 | Apple TV+". YouTube. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  13. ^ Hutchinson, John R. [@JohnRHutchinson] (May 23, 2022). "Well done to everyone involved in #PrehistoricPlanet! Lots of science" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  14. ^ Krentz, David [@DavidKrentz1] (April 23, 2022). "Re: Prehistoric Planet. Yes, I was involved. I would get amazing models and adjust them for accuracy or character and give modeling notes etc. some color work too. Really talented team to collaborate with, can't state that enough. I'll share stuff at a later date" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ Petski, Denise (March 1, 2023). "'Prehistoric Planet' Renewed For Season 2 At Apple TV+". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
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  17. ^ "Prehistoric Planet: Season 1". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  18. ^ Verhoeven, Beatrice (2022-07-07). "'This Is Us,' 'Succession,' 'Severance' Lead 2022 HCA TV Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2022-07-08.
  19. ^ Cordero, Rosy (June 16, 2022). "'Abbott Elementary' Scores Most TCA Award Nods; 'Squid Game' & 'Only Murders In The Building' Also Among Honorees". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 18, 2022.
  20. ^ Hailu, Selome (August 6, 2022). "'Abbott Elementary' Tops 2022 TCA Awards". Variety. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  21. ^ Carey, Matthew (October 20, 2022). "Cinema Eye Honors: 'Four Hours At The Capitol,' 'The Beatles: Get Back' Lead First Round Of Nominations For Documentary Awards Show". Deadline. Retrieved October 20, 2022.
  22. ^ Anderson, Erik (November 3, 2022). "'Black Panther,' 'Bros,' 'Everything Everywhere All at Once,' 'Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio' lead Hollywood Music in Media Awards (HMMA) nominations". AwardsWatch. Retrieved November 3, 2022.
  23. ^ Neglia, M. (November 17, 2022). "The 2022 Hollywood Music In Media Awards (HMMA) Winners". Next Best Picture.
  24. ^ Creamer, John (November 9, 2022). "Televisual Bulldog Awards: Winners announced". Televisual. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  25. ^ Miller, Max (November 30, 2022). "Broadcast Tech Innovation Awards 2022: The Winners". Broadcast. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  26. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 17, 2023). "Annie Awards: 'Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio' Leads Feature Competition With Nine Noms". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  27. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 17, 2023). "'Avatar: The Way of Water' Earns Record 14 Visual Effects Society Award Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  28. ^ Pederson, Erik (February 15, 2023). "'Avatar: The Way Of Water' Dominates VES Awards With Nine Wins; Three For 'Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio' – Full List". Deadline. Retrieved February 16, 2023.